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Harlem Project Master

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Submitted By mamie904
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I - INTRODUCTION:
Historically, the American political system exists to govern and protect the social welfare of the people. Through the electoral process, governmental officials are chosen. The bureaucratic officials are influenced by four basic ideologies which guides their decision making process. Conservative, Libertarian, Liberal, and Radical are the four ideologies in question. Firstly, I will define the four political ideologies. Secondly, I will apply my definitions to a single example. Third, I will analyze the Harlem Project from a liberal and radical ideology’s perspective. Next, my analysis will be of the federal and local government, of the causes of the problem, of the strategies taken to solve the problem, and the core values that underpin the solution. Finally, I will incorporate systems terminology and apply systems concepts.
II.- DEFINITIONS
All four ideologies listed in this paper present a different view; however, several of them share overlapping similarities. People identifying with the conservative ideology believe in maintaining things, as they currently exist, personal responsibility, hard work, preserving tradition, moral values, and social stratification. Conservative officials focus on preserving conservative platforms and eliminating reforms established during periods of other ideological power. This group deduces that each individual should be responsible for gaining their own wealth through hard work and perseverance. The conservative philosophy supports the traditional tax breaks for the prosperous. In addition, they feel that wealthy people are entitled to live a lavish lifestyle opposed to the poor. Conservatives do not support the forced redistribution of wealth through taxes and welfare. This ideology does not believe that the government has the authority to take away a citizen’s rights to bear arms.
A libertarian promotes individual liberty in personal and economic matters, they embrace freedom of choice, they focus on protecting the rights of all human beings, and they favor limited government control or regulation. The libertarian ideology considers liberty as the inherited right of freedom, which is due to all human beings. These rights include, but are not limited to, the right to freedom, property ownership, freedom of speech, and to bear arms. This group is in support of people working hard to build personal wealth. They are in favor of capitalism. This group advocates for people controlling their own individual lives in a harmonious fashion. They believe that everyone should make their own decisions without intrusion from others. Libertarians do not believe in slavery, coercion, or forced governmental policies. More than likely not agree with the military draft of citizens. Liberal person is one that identifies with change, freedom of choice, and welcomes reform. A liberal would be inclined to welcome changes in current affairs that would help to solve the problems of the poor. Similarly, this group agrees with the philosophy of the libertarians as far as favoring all human being’s freedom of choice. The libertarians are against policies that abolish government initiatives that promote the growth of poor people. Liberals would not be against funding programs for women and children, senior citizens, and the disabled. The radical ideology believes in extremism, they seek to promote social change, they recognize existing oppression in this country. This group believes in going to extreme measures to reinstate, promote, or preserve social change. They are not in favor of the discrimination of underprivileged people. This group would be against the unfair treatment of people based on their race, greed, or color. The radical ideology shares some of the same views as the libertarians and the liberal. All three of these groups share similar feelings about the restriction of governmental control on social problems and freedom of choice.
III.- APPLICATION OF DEFINITIONS: I will now apply my definitions to an example of my choice. Conservatives would most likely be against abortion. This group would not agree with abortions because they consider it immoral to terminate a fetus. This act would conflict with their religious and moral values. The libertarians believe strongly in the freedom of choice. Their philosophy is based on individualism and does not favor governmental restrictions on such a personal matter as abortion. The liberal ideology opposes government interference on abortion; conversely, they favor governmental input with respect to other social problems. Radicals, libertarians, and liberals share similar views pertaining to abortion. The radical group is against governmental disturbances of social matters. The above ideologies influence the policy maker’s platform toward poverty in disadvantaged neighborhoods throughout this country. I will analyze the following article.
IV.- ANALYSIS OF PROJECT:
The article “The Harlem Project” (Tough 2004) described the devastating conditions of the streets in New York, but especially in Harlem during the 1990s. The focal system of the article was poverty. In Tough’s description, he explained the people’s plight as being victims of poverty, cocaine addiction, gun violence, homelessness, and truancy. Additionally, out of wedlock pregnancies, single parent households, high unemployment rates, substandard housing, and second-rate educational institutions were prevalent in the poor areas. The article depicted the children in Harlem as predestined to live a life of poverty. Geoffrey Canada, is the C.E.O. of the Harlem Children Zone, he started out as just an average do-gooder. He set out to improve the world, one poor child at a time. Eventually, he became frustrated with his inability to help the masses of poor children. In time he implemented a plan to address poverty as a whole. Canada realized the lack of education was one of the main causes of poverty. He instituted several strategies to correct the problem. (Tough, 2004).
V. – LOCAL AND FEDERAL VIEWS:
Liberal views of the federal government are relatively positive; similarly are the views of the radical ideology. The radical group perspective changes when the issues concern money. Liberals prefer federal government opposed to local government. Where as the radical ideology have a less positive view of local government than of federal government. The liberal philosophy is based on blaming the inequalities of wealth on the disparities of economics. This group believes that the disproportion of poor parent’s educational backgrounds, would hinders their ability to secure employment that pays enough to provide for their family. Liberals would agree with programs that appropriated federal spending to facilitate programs for the poor. Where as the radical stance would be that the cause of poverty is due to the lack of federal funds and reforms geared to alleviate poverty. (Jansson, 2009).
VI.- STRATEGIES:
. Canada’s strategies identified with liberal and radical ideologies. From a liberal stance, he had strong convictions about leveling the playing field for the poor, especially poor black children. He wanted to minimize the children’s probability of suffering a life of poverty. He believed that the children were entitled to this opportunity regardless of their economical inabilities. Canada also exhibited radical views. He used unorthodox strategies to fight the system and increase the effectiveness of the project. Canada displayed radical views about recruitment into his project. He adopted a relentless philosophy to coerce parents to participate in the many different programs. His motto was based on any means possible, which included bribing parents by providing incentives such as raffles, movie tickets, free groceries, and rent payments. Combing the streets, knocking door to door in high-rise apartment complexes. These were just a few of the radical tactics that use to increase participation in project. Canada used a systems approach to eliminate generational poverty. This system was composed of various subsystems that operated simultaneously. Canada employed many different strategies to promote his project. He targeted a sixty-block radius in Harlem to implement his advantageous plan of action, which was the development of the Harlem Children Zone
According to Tough, “Most conservatives explain poverty by looking to culture and behavioral: bad parenting, high out-of- wedlock birth rates, teenagers who don’t know the value of an honest day’s work. To most liberals, the problem are economic: under financed public schools and a dearth of well-paying semiskilled jobs, which make it nearly impossible for families to pull themselves out of poverty.” (Tough, 2004).
Canada agreed with both ideologies’ assumption pertaining to poverty. Consequently, he satisfied the liberals by supplying schools, day-care centers, and after-school programs. Additionally, he kept the conservatives pleased by directly taking on the problems of insufficient parental guidance and the cultural disadvantages of living in low-income neighborhoods. Geoffrey Canada launched a campaign to recruit parents in his program. The methodology that the campaign used was radical in nature. He utilized the superasystem by revamping the system with new faces, talents, and strategies. His new organizers held glittering fund raising dinners. These new strategies increased the project’s synergy by the receiving the financial contributions from the environment. He was on a quest to save more than a few localized kids; he was concerned about saving the masses of poor black children in poverty-stricken communities throughout the country. Canada wanted to change the cycle of a select few children overcoming the odds of poverty. One of the things that made his project unique was the combined effort of all of his programs together. All of Canada’s programs were operating in concert, that’s what made the project revolutionary. (Tough, 2004).
According to Tough,
“Canada’s new program combines educational, social and medical services. It starts at birth and follows children to college. It meshes those services into an interlocking web, and then it drops that web over an entire neighborhood. It operates on the principle that each child will do better if all the children around him are doing better.” (Tough, 2004).
His intent was to construct a safety net designed so tight that no child would be able to slip through the cracks.
VII.- SOLUTION:
According to my analysis, Geoffrey Canada identified with conservative and liberal views in the article. Therefore, he strategically designed a comprehensive program that addressed all of the issues relating to the causes of proverty. Educational, social, and medical services were all-inclusive with his new program. The program followed the children from infancy to the completion of college. (Tough, 2004).
VIII.- CONCLUSION: In my paper, I used my own words to explain four political ideologies; I evaluated “The Harlem Project”. However, I only used two ideologies for the purpose of analysis. I considered the views of these two ideologies on the local and federal government level. Included in my analysis was the strategy used and solution found in the article.

Glossary

Environment: Anything not included within the interactions of the components of a system (that is, within the interactional boundary) that affects the system. It may also be considered as anything that affects the system but over which it has little or no control. Significant environment refers to those systems or components that are capable of influencing the system in fundamental (as opposed to tangential) ways. (Anderson, Carter & Lowe, 2007).
Focal system: This refers to the system that is the object of attention at a particular moment. (Anderson, Carter & Lowe, 2007). Subsystem: A component of a system that is itself a system. It is one kind of a component. (Anderson, Carter & Lowe, 2007).
Suprasystem: A larger system that includes the focal system; a “whole” of which the focal system is a “part”. (Anderson, Carter & Lowe, 2007).
Synergy: Increasing the amount of energy available in a system through increased interation of the components. Loosely , it may be described as the creation of new energy through compounding the actions of the parts, but this is a moot point in systems theory. (Anderson, Carter & Lowe, 2007).
System; An organized whole made up of components that interact in a way distinct from their interaction with other entities, and that endures over some period of time.
(Anderson, Carter & Lowe, 2007).…...

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